Peter Sagan has best Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel to win stage three of Tirreno-Adriatico in what was the last opportunity for the fast-men.
The Tour de France green jersey champion Sagan launched his sprint off Greipel’s wheel with Cavendish unable to come around the Slovak sensation in the closing metres. Cavendish still leads the overall classification after the 190km rain-soaked run to Narni Scalo.
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Sagan’s Cannondale team accelerated on a descent within the final 20km at the same time Greipel’s chief pilot, Greg Henderson was involved in a crash.
The race then exploded with Juan Antonio Flecha [Vacansoleil-DCM], Vincenzo Nibali [Astana] and Lars Boom [Blanco] launching respective attacks. The peloton however regrouped behind and the race was altogether with some 5km remaining.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Orica-GreenEdge moved to the front of the bunch protecting Cavendish and stage two victor Matt Goss, respectively, only for both to lose position after picking the wrong line around some road furniture.
Sergey Lagutin [Vacansoleil-DCM] went off the front amidst the confusion but the race came together once more as Cavendish and Goss both found their way back. Goss finished fifth behind Gerald Ciolek [MTN-Qhubeka].
Cesare Benedetti [NetApp Endura], Francesco Failli [Vini Fantini] and Garikoitz Bravo [Euskaletel Euskadi] comprised the main break of the day gaining an advantage in excess of seven minutes before being reeled in as Cannondale took over.
More to come
Tirreno-Adriatico, stage three: Indicatore – Narni Scalo, 190km
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 5:15.12
2. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
4. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
5. Matt Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
7. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8. Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC
9. Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
10. Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano
Overall classification after stage three
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 11:23:08
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 7 seconds
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 9 seconds
4. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
6. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale at 18 seconds
7. Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar at 20 seconds
8. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
9. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar
10. Juan Jose Cobo (Spa) Movistar